Do I need to introduce more Speedwork?

Hi All, 

I have a half marathon in 4 weeks and then a 10K a few weeks after I have been following a more structured training plan for the last 8 weeks, before this I would run 4/5 times a week with a LSR of 10 miles. An example of a week on my plan is this:-

M:- Rest, Tues:- Easy Run 6 miles @8.20, Weds:- Easy Run 7 miles @8:20, Thurs:-Tempo Run 6 miles (5 @ 7:04) Fri:- Easy Run 6miles@8:10, Sat:- Rest, Sun:-LSR 12miles @8:10.

So far there has only been two session's over the 8 weeks of Speedwork Dist:-8 miles incl warm, 4x1600@6:25 w/800 jogs.( which I found shockingly hard by the way!!)

Should I be including more speed sessions? I know its probably a little late to ask now as the half is only 4 weeks away but I am really hoping to beat my Pb of 1:38 that I did in March this year, and my 10K PB that I got in May of 42:35. Any training  tips for the future would be great.

Thanks for any help.


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    I'm no expert, but I don't think you'll see much benefit from adding speedwork this late in your preparation.  It takes two weeks for the effects of training to become apparent, and you should have a one to two week taper to be ready for the half marathon - so you can only really squeeze in one or two sessions before the HM.

    After the races are out of the way, you could replace your tuesday easy run with some intervals.  I'm not surprised you found the 4x 1600 hard as thats quite a long interval.   I'm currently using the Garmin schedule from this site and it has a mix of 200m to 800m intervals (with more repetitions) and the 800m ones are hard!  So jumping up to 1600m reps from nothing is difficult to do.  So maybe have a look at other plans and you should find something like 12x 400m one week, 8x 800m the next, and only then 4x 1600m.


  • I think it's a bit late, in fact I'd be tempted to change the tempo run to more of a fartlek run for the next couple of sessions to ensure you're not wearing yourself out. Going into the half marathon feeling strong and knowing that you can carry pace to the end is going to be more important than adding a bit more speed now and going in tired. If you're going to add another speed session, do it this week.

  • I'm sure it won't do any harm and I tend to find the shorter faster intervals less tiring than the long ones. I've included an 8x400m session into my HM taper this week.

    Will add a bit of interest if nothing else.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Stutyr, I strongly doubt it's a mere 2 weeks for training to take effect. I've heard 6 weeks is more the minimum.

    Katy, there's a couple of things going on to talk about.

    Your half marathon pb is 1hr 38. Now that's 7.29 per mile.

    Have you had a significantly faster race at another distance in between to help you set your training paces?

    I ask, because generally your easy pace should be around 1min 20 slower than your half pace, but you're doing your easy pace work a mere 40-50secs slower....

    Similarly 5miles at 7.04 pace  (your tempo time) would be impossible, as from your half marathon pb, 7.04 would be your 5k pace!

    Therefore, presuming your current paces are correct....your 5k pace would be around 6.25-6.30

    Therefore, that 4x1600 session, you're basically trying to do 4miles at 3.1mile race pace. That will be why it felt very hard. Unless you're a particularly hard core pain lover, you don't generally do higher distance in the reps, then the distance race you're going for.

    For 5k pace, 10x400, or 5x800 off 60sec are good options. That way you cover 2.5miles at 3.1mile (5k) pace.

    For that tempo, I'd be more inclined to up the distance to 6-6.5miles, but slow the pace slightly, from 7.04 to 7.10-7.20 (depending on whether your easy pace should be 8.10-8.20 as you seem to change depending on run)

    That 7.10-7.20 would be your marathon pace. It's a great medium hard effort that gets you fit quick.

    A few weeks of that, and you can throw in a session of 45mins alternating in 5min segments between marathon pace and half marathon pace (7.10-7.20 to 6.50-7). Completing that session shows you're really cracking on.

    You might need to gently add some more mileage at easy pace before regularly adding a second hard session of the speedwork though. Gradual and progressive.

  • As Stevie G said it is 6 weeks.   Well according to Daniels and I do believe he is quite experienced.

  • Ah thanks for all your replies, really helpful!

    StevieG When I ran the 1:38 half I had a mare, basically by the time I got to the start it was 9 mins after the race had started and so I spent the first couple of miles weaving and practically running on the spot due to congestion before I could get going!  The only other race I can compare my pace was my 10K when I ran 42:35, which I found ok.

    I think this is half my problem I have a real mental block with the fact that you should be doing different paces for different types of runs, before this plan I would just go out and run at pretty much the same pace so i'd run my 10 mile run at the same pace as my tempo run doh!.  Thanks very much for your really informative reply have printed off what you have said for future reference - hopefully my brain will kick into gear and I might actually understand this timing malarke - and I might just get under 1:38!

    Thanks again


  • i think you'll comfortably smash 1hr 38. A short warm up before will get you going, then i'd expect a good amount of time off.

    Then from how that result comes out, we can tweak your pace zones accordingly when you report back...

    Different pace zones are great to use, mentally and physically. When you've done a hard session, and know the next day is only running at easy pace it's lovely!

  • Thats great thanks again will report back in 4 weeks with hopefully good news!? 



  • If you have done 42:35 for 10k you should get within 1:35

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